This week was another great week to be on the water and I got to spend five straight days on the water! Yes, it is hot; but, we can survive the heat when fishing is as good as it has been.
Monday was a day on the water with Flip Pallot. We had some new gear to test out and wanted to do some scouting for trips later in the week. We wanted to hunt redfish and seatrout, so we headed into the backwaters to find our targets. Throughout the day we found a lot of redfish. Not all of them were happy to see us, but we did find enough that were willing to take a fly that we had a great day. Natural colored shrimp flies worked the best and my new Awesome Fly pattern worked on quite a few. Trout were not as cooperative as the redfish. We saw a few big ones, but they were already alerted to our presence and wouldn't take out offerings. The day was highlighted by a first for both and Flip and I; considering the number of years we have spent on the water, that's saying a lot. While poling a flat, we saw an albino redfish. Truly a unique sight. Despite numerous perfect presentations, the fish would not take a fly from Flip. We watched as he refused offering after offering and finally decided to ease away from us. Unfortunately I was not in a position to get a picture without spooking him. Some day, we will be in a position to get a picture though. After speaking with several other guides, I only have one other that has ever seen an albino in our area and it was a black drum. It truly is a spectacle to see.
The fish on the left fell to the Awesome Shrimp. He was plucked from a school of about 30 fish.
I spent Tuesday giving an ecotour to a group of people visiting the area. I also got the opportunity to test run the boat on the right; the Morada 24 by Islamorada Boatworks. This bay boat is being built by the same guy who made by Waterman, Tom Gordon. As always, the boat is superbly designed and beautifully crafted. Nature did not disappoint us during the tour. We had a ton of dolphins, manatee, birds and fish. During the trip we managed to sneak up on some laid up tarpon, finning just below the surface. These majestic fish are always a bonus when you find them laid up and sunning themselves. I guess I can take our area for granted sometimes, because I forget what it actually like to see all of the wildlife in the area. We had dolphin herding up baitfish and then crashing through them, with mothers teaching the juveniles how to catch fish (they actually play catch with them), Add in a few mating manatees, ospreys, terns, ibises, herons, and a host of other birds. They also got a little history lesson for the areas of New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Oak Hill. We stopped for lunch and by the end of the day, they all said it was the most relaxed they had been in quite some time.
Wednesday was back on the water for fishing action. This day was spent with Flip Pallot and Peter Vandergrift, of Costa Sunglasses.
Peter was in town for business and took the opportunity to conduct some of the business on the water; there really isn't a better place to complete business! First thing in the morning we found redfish doing what we love to see. They were backing and tailing, with their heads down and tails up. Peter, who was a fly fishing guide in his prior career, did not disappoint me with his casting ability. Once again, the Awesome Shrimp proved to be irresistible to the fish. He closed the deal on a couple of them. Unfortunately they decided they did not want to stay attached long enough for photographs. Weather moved in and clouds decided to hamper our efforts for the remainder of the day. Still, with the proper gear, we managed shots at fish; Costa's new Sunrise Silver Mirror glasses made all of the difference in seeing fish under tough conditions. As we continued our outdoor adventure, we once again located out albino redfish. He was glowing under water, showing off his white and yellow colors. Once again he refused to take a fly. As we continued we found a laid up tarpon. Peter stuck him and landed him. Talk about a warrior fish; he showed signs of a recent fight with dolphin. We snapped a quick picture and released him. During the day I was pleased to learn about Costa's new program #kickplastic. This program is designed to help eliminate plastic water bottles and reduce the amount of pollution being caused by them. Please check out their program and learn about ways you can help! I'll have a complete blog dedicated to it soon!
Thursday and Friday were spent fishing for snook. Our snook bite has been great and these two days did not disappoint. In fact, Thursday was on of the best days I have had since the early 1990's. A total of eight snook were landed on fly and two more large ones were broken off. There were shots a tarpon too, but they were a little too snooty to take the fly. However, Thursday ended with an East Coast Slam on fly: 8 snook, 2 seatrout and 1 redfish. Friday snook fishing was also good, but they were a little tougher to get to eat. Still, three snook landed on fly, two broke off, and a surprise mangrove snapper. The weather moved in and ruined the chances for a slam.
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